While staying in Deep Cove, our group spent a considerable amount of time on the docks fishing. Most of the marine species that we caught were bottom-feeders, with the occasional blue cod appearing at the end of a line. It was not until after we returned inside from the pouring rain that Billy, the hostel manger revealed his catch; three large, spiny creatures, which we would later eat for dinner. The crayfish, or rock lobster, as it has been branded in New Zealand swims at depths of 5 to 275 meters. The species that can be found on the South Island are the red crayfish (jasus edwarsii), and green packhorse crayfish (sagmariasus verreauxi). The fish we encountered was the red crayfish. We were able to tell because of the spines that grew on its shell and tail. This variety is also generally more common than its sister species.
The red crayfish, also known as the spiny rock lobster, or spiny lobster for short, can grow to be 45-50 centimeters long and weigh as much as 3 kilograms. It has two long antennae, which it uses to map out its rocky, underwater environment and defend itself from would-be predators. This species hunts at night, which is why it was surprising that Billy caught one during the day, when the rock lobster is usually dormant in caves. This species can live up to 11 years and typically begins its mating cycle in Autumn.
The most interesting thing that I have read about this species is the fact that it migrates extremely long distances walking on the sea floor. It is not uncommon for red crayfish originally tagged in Otago, for example, to turn up in the Fiordlands after they travel almost 850 kilometers! If you have the luck of catching a red crayfish, you are sure to enjoy a meal to remember.
Big specimen with a chiton, retreated into a crevice when it saw me. Upper intertidal zone, early evening.
The hermit, please, not the shell.
Los crustáceos (Crustacea, del latín crusta, "costra" y aceum, "relación o la naturaleza de algo") son un extenso subfilo de artrópodos, con más de 67.000 especies y sin duda faltan por descubrir hasta cinco o diez veces este número. Incluyen varios grupos de animales como las langostas, los camarones, los cangrejos, los langostinos y los percebes. Los crustáceos son fundamentalmente acuáticos y habitan en todas las profundidades, tanto en el medio marino, salobre y de